The eight-part series tells the story of the modern and avant-garde young queen, played by Emilia Schüle (“Ku’damm 63”), who was barely 14 years old when she left Austria to marry the Dauphin of France. Growing from a stubborn young princess navigating the rules of the French court under pressure to continue the Bourbon line, to a fashion icon, she fought rumors undermining her reputation.
Produced by Banijay Studios France, Capa Drama and Les Gens, the acquisition marks the first international deal for the Canal Plus original. The deal was negotiated by Chris Stewart, senior VP of sales for the U.K. and Ireland at Banijay Rights.
Writers on the drama also include Louise Ironside (“The Split”), Avril E. Russell (“All on a Summer’s Day”) and Chloë Moss (“Run Sister Run”). The series is directed by Pete Travis (“Bloodlands”) and Geoffrey Enthoven (“Children of Love”).
“Marie Antoinette” is produced by Claude Chelli and Margaux Balsan for Capa Drama, Alban Étienne and Stéphanie Chartreux for Banijay Studios France, and Christophe Toulemonde for Les Gens. Filming is taking place at historical places including the Châteaux of Versailles, Vaux-le-Vicomte, Lésigny, Champs, Voisins, and in the Bry-sur-Marne studios.
Stewart said: “’Marie Antoinette’ is an extraordinary fresh new take on one of France’s most iconic – and controversial – figures, filled with stunning scenery, fine performances and epic costumes. Following on from the success of ‘Versailles’ on BBC Two, we are excited to again bring the extravagance and excitement of French court life to U.K. viewers.”
Sue Deeks, head of program acquisitions for the BBC, said: “Marie Antoinette possesses an enduring fascination and Deborah Davis has a very singular vision for her story – we are truly delighted to be bringing this ambitious project to BBC Two and iPlayer.”
The queen was the subject of Sofia Coppola’s Oscar-winning 2006 film “Marie Antoinette,” starring Kirsten Dunst and Jason Schwartzman.